The primary objective of this project is to develop fundamental capabilities that enable multiple, distributed, heterogeneous robots to coordinate tasks that cannot be accomplished by the robots individually. The basic concept is to enable individual robots to act independently, while still allowing for tight, precise coordination when necessary. Individual robots will be highly autonomous, yet will be able to synchronize their behaviors, negotiate with one another to perform tasks, and "advertise" their capabilities. The main technical challenge of the project is to develop an architectural framework that permits a high degree of autonomy for each individual robot, while providing a coordination structure that enables the group to act as a unified team.
In addition, the project is now working on incorporating a human operator in the system and enabling sliding autonomy throughout the architecture, in order to allow the human to smoothly cooperate with the autonomous agents.